I see distance learning becoming more and more prevalent in the next 5-10-20 years. As more people become comfortable with various ways to communicate and learn it is only a matter of time until distance education is seen as a norm.
The more comfortable we become with various ways to communicate, learn and do business with diverse populations around the world the more accepting society will be of this type of educational platform. I don’t think that it will ever take the place of your traditional brick and mortar institutions but I do see the opportunity for more versed and better course offerings in the future.
I see distance learning becoming quite similar to our traditional brick and mortar universities with the benefits of distance education being the same as always convenience, low cost etc. but I do believe that as technology improves so will the development of distance education platforms and course offerings.
I firmly believe that the more research and the more we learn about the benefits of distance education the more opportunity for certain courses currently offered within a brick and mortar being offered in a hybrid fashion.
The learner would be able to engage in a classroom type of setting for learning the basics I.E. a social worker learning about various therapies and techniques online but then being able to put all of those things learned to practical use either in a face to face classroom or in a practicum setting, which is mandatory in order to be able to set for the licensing exam.
I believe that our responsibility as distance educators and graduates is no different than our responsibility anytime we improve our knowledge base. We are responsible for showing society, future employers, current employers and team members that we are more than capable of performing our job duties.
Due to societal biased about distance education graduates may have an even greater responsibility than those graduates from a traditional brick and mortar institution. That being said it is the responsibility all professionals have no matter where they earned their educations; to make certain that we stay abreast of the latest and greatest in learning technologies and theories.
I know as a professional I am constantly researching new learning theories and signing up for countless webinars and training’s. I “love” to learn which is one of the reasons that I chose Instructional Design as a profession. Besides signing up for innumerable training’s, I also look to my fellow team mates within and outside of the organization. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with some incredibly talented individuals with a wealth of knowledge.
I will make certain as an instructional designer that I never stop learning! It is my responsibility to make certain that I am on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest in learning theories and technologies.
Not to sound cliche but I am always online looking for free courses and webinars that I can take online. I am constantly following highly accommodated professionals in their blog postings and training’s. One I follow often is Allen Interactions. I also belong to the Association of Training and Development. I am always researching and trying to gain new knowledge every day.